Salicylic Acid & Benzoyl Peroxide
Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are the most common ingredients found in over-the-counter and prescription products designed to fight acne, but topical use over 2% is not recommended during pregnancy. Salicylic acid is in the same family as aspirin, and aspirin intake must be carefully monitored by your healthcare provider when pregnant. The same goes for benzoyl peroxideits safety has yet to be established. We’re often asked about the willow bark extract found in the Amla Purifying Cleanser and Enzyme Exfoliant, as it contains a natural version of salicylic acid. We consider this to be safe because 1) it is in a concentration lower than 2%, and 2) salicylic acid is considered safe during pregnancy for wash-off products because only a tiny amount is absorbing into your skin.
Avoid Oral Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is related to the common pain relief drug Aspirin, which is generally considered unsafe or risky for use while pregnant.Taking an oral form of salicylic acid is also not advised. Oral consumption of salicylic acid is safer in earlier stages of pregnancy, but not after 20 weeks, as it can cause premature closure of the ductus arteriosus in the heart, Dr. Engelman adds.
Premature closure of the ductus arteriosus, the blood vessel that connects two major arteries before birth and typically closes after a baby is born, can result in pulmonary hypertension, and if left untreated, can result in fetal death.
Ingredients To Avoid In Face Washes For Pregnancy
What are the most popular acne products to avoid while pregnant?
Every pregnancy skin care routine should not include the following substances:
Retinoids in beauty products are associated with birth defects
Now, this particular ingredient is a beta hydroxy acid. It is added to face washes to get rid of your dead skin cells. And to dissolve the excess oil for cleansing your pores.
Instead, you can choose an alpha hydroxy acid such as lactic or glycolic acid. These two perform the same function but with a relatively lower risk.
Some pregnant women also have to deal with melasma. Its a skin condition that causes hyperpigmentation. So to avoid the formation of melasma during pregnancy, its best to stay away from soy products.
The soy ingredient in anything, even your body wash, is not a good idea. For your 9 months and beyond, you can choose any one of these best pregnancy body washes. They dont include soy in any form or quantity.
Also, put on sunscreen to minimize the chances of melasma when pregnant.
Hydroquinone and Benzoyl Peroxide
Skip these two skin lightening agents as well. They are not safe to use if youre carrying a child. But you can replace benzoyl peroxide with a skincare product thats sulfur-based.
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How It Might Help Skin Issues In Pregnancy
Everyones familiar with the so-called pregnancy glow.
If youre pregnant, you know youre just as likely to be fighting pimples. Plus, anyone who has ever been hugely pregnant can tell you that its hard to get comfortable enough to get a good nights sleep. And a lack of rest tends to take a toll on your skin.
Glycolic acid in a pregnancy-safe concentration of less than 10 percent can speed the turnover of skin cells that might otherwise pile up on your face and make your skin look dry and dull.
As such, it may help treat any acne that you may be struggling with and even give you a hint of that alleged pregnancy glow.
Ursa Major Fantastic Face Wash
This foaming face wash is chock full of naturally-derived ingredients such as soothing aloe, brightening sugarcane, moisturizing rice seed and cleansing coconut-derived surfactants. It has none of the bad stuff but does have a natural, woodsy scent with notes of cedar, spearmint, lime, lemon, rosemary, black spruce, owyhee, vetiver and lavender. Thats plant-powered skincare at its best.
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Skin Care Tips For Pregnant Women
Because of the changes in your body, you might need to give your skin extra special attention throughout your pregnancy. That doesnt just involve using the right skincare products but also certain habits and lifestyle changes. Here are some tips that might help you keep your skin clear and healthy while youre pregnant:
- Go makeup-free. Avoiding make-up will allow you to simplify your skincare routine and minimize skin issues throughout your pregnancy. If thats not something youre comfortable doing, at least try avoiding heavy make-up and always opt for non-comedogenic products.
- Clean up your diet. The condition of your skin isnt just the effect of the skincare products you use but also what you eat. Nourish your body with plenty of fruits and vegetables not only to help minimize the impact of your hormonal changes but to keep you and your baby healthy overall.
- Dont fuss too much. If your skin becomes oily due to pregnancy, dont wash and wipe too often. That might worsen your condition and lead to acne flare-ups. Instead, find an appropriate cleanser, wash no more than twice a day, and use blotting paper in between, if necessary.
Top Skin Care Ingredients To Avoid In Pregnancy
Before we jump into our list, we must point out that evidence-based data on the safety of specific products in pregnancy is limited. In almost all cases, clinical trials on pregnant women that could even start to prove that certain ingredients are harmful are an ethical no-no.
But some animal, anecdotal, or case-specific studies have shown some serious fetal effects related to a few common skin care ingredients. Thats the basis for our recommendations.
The Food and Drug Administration requires cosmetic products to be safe based on their specific uses and labeling, but they dont need FDA approval to be sold on the market.
All of that brings big questions about what cosmetics are truly safe during pregnancy. On this basis, most experts err on the side of caution.
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How To Check That Your Facial Cleanser Is Safe
With so many changes happening to your body during pregnancy, the safety of your face cleanser might be the last thing on your mind.
Nevertheless, it is important to avoid chemicals that might cause harm to you and your baby. Heres how you can make sure that your face cleanser and other cosmetic products are safe for you.
- Try to remember the top offenders that you should avoid.
- Read up on why non-toxic products are important.
- Ignore the marketing tactics.
- Look at the list of ingredients.
- If unsure of ingredients, look it up.
Following are the symptoms that your face cleanser might not be safe or suited for you:
- You experience intense burning or stinging sensations when you use the product for the first time
- You experience slight burning or stinging when you use a product youve used before
- Your skin is dry, flaking and/or peeling.
- You have a rash or blisters on areas you used the product on.
- You experience sudden pigmentation changes.
- Your skin is red and irritated.
- Your skin is itchy.
Additionally, you can also look out for the following on the product description to ensure that what you are using is safe:
- Colorant free
- No synthetic fragrances
Why You Should Not Use Salicylic Acid While Pregnant
Although salicylic acid traditionally offers a long list of benefits, the risks of using it during pregnancy can outweigh them. You can get some absorption of salicylic acid, and there is a toxicity called salicylism, Dr. Day explains. So, if it is absorbed, it can potentially cross the placenta and cause salicylism in the fetus.
Salicylism, a toxic syndrome caused by excessive intake of salicylic acid, can lead to serious symptoms for the person who is pregnant, including tinnitus, nausea, dizziness, coma, and even death. While further research needs to be conducted, if salicylic acid is absorbed and crosses into the placenta, it could cause fetal death, antepartum and postpartum bleeding, or prolonged pregnancy and labor.
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Skincare Treatments You Should Avoid During Pregnancy
- Tanning: This treatment could increase the core temperature of your body significantly. The tanning beds use UVA light, which could break down folic acid which is important for the development of your baby.
- Body wraps: Avoid these as they will increase your core body temperature.
- Peels: Chemical peels contain high levels of various chemicals, including salicylic acid.
When To Consult A Dermatologist
You should visit a dermatologist for the same reasons you would if you werent pregnant. If you have any rashes, itchy patches, flaking skin, or bumps, do not hesitate to make an appointment with a skin doctor.
Most pregnant women know that what they use on their body affects their childs development. However, what you put on your body is also important. In case of any doubts regarding a product, do not use it until your doctor gives approval.
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Dont See Your Product Read This Before You Ask About It
Please read the Pregnancy Beauty Guide intro first, where you will learn which products you actually need to worry about . I will not review products that fall into the dont worry about it categories. If you want to ask about a specific product, I require that you follow these guidelines for asking about pregnancy/nursing safety. You can also learn more about how to use these pregnancy safety lists. I will delete questions that dont follow the guidelines or are rude.
Christina Moss Facial Cleanser
Christina Moss has a natural facial cleanser thats excellent for oily, dry, and sensitive skin. This cleanser uses natural flower extracts and essential oils to clean makeup, oil, and dirt. Since it consists of natural and clean ingredients, this eliminates the possibility of drying out the skin or making it dull.
Free from chemicals, sulfates, parabens, artificial fragrances, and dyes, Christina Moss keeps your skin safe from the effects of these harsh chemicals. Not just a highly effective cleanser, it also works well as a moisturizer leaving your skin fresh and youthful.
Also, this gentle cleanser nourishes your skin with the right nutrients. So, it is less likely that the cleanser will cause any breakouts during pregnancy. The saponified formula also eliminates the slightest chance of clogging pores. It comes in a compact tube that makes the application easy. The good part is the tube is recyclable.
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Eltamd Foaming Facial Cleanser
Why not treat your pregnancy acne with a premium face cleanser that is capable of giving your face a clean, bold look that you have never thought of possible? The EltaMD Foaming Facial Cleanser combines clean ingredients with self-foaming technology to remove oil, makeup, and other impurities.
The cleanser utilizes a combination of enzymes and amino acids to give your skin a deep clean. The blend plays a crucial role in preventing inflammatory acne. Additionally, the formula removes damaging pollutants from the skin to give your face an instant glow.
Furthermore, the cleaning agent is relatively safe for most skin types, including sensitive skin. Oil-free, paraben-free, and toxic-free, it is a dermatologist-recommended brand. Though this gentle cleanser is a little pricier, it is worth a try considering its effectiveness.
Strong And Artificial Scents
Artificial scents are made from chemicals that might be harmful to your or your babys health. They can cause changes to the hormones in your body, causing nausea and other unpleasant side effects.
Additionally, some women have a heightened sense of smell during pregnancy and this can cause some discomfort. Chemicals used to make artificial scents can also cause a reaction especially if you have sensitive skin.
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What Can I Do About Varicose Veins Now And After I Have The Baby
During pregnancy, the weight of your developing baby can put pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis. This causes blood to back up into the veins of the legs, enlarging them.
Wearing support hose as well as getting regular exercise can help minimize the risk for developing varicose veins during pregnancy, says Macrene Alexiades, M.D., a dermatologist and assistant clinical professor at Yale University of Medicine.
After delivery and once you finish breastfeeding, small spider veins can be treated by a dermatologist with a laser or injection procedure. For larger varicose veins, seek out a vascular surgeon.
Skin Changes During Pregnancy
First, lets face it: Pregnancy-related skin changes happen to many people. Hormones can take the blame or you can chalk it up to just another one of those normal quirks that come with the mama-to-be gig.
While some lucky ladies experience 9 months of pure complexion perfection, others experience at least one less favorable new or worsening skin issue at some point. The most common are:
- dry skin
People with preexisting skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea may also experience a change in their symptoms .
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Free & Clear Liquid Cleanser
The go-to product for people with sensitive skin is right here.
If youre allergic to just about everything and have trouble with scents, check it out.
Free & Clear is made to be used on your face and body. Its okay for kids, too.
There are eleven ingredients on the label, starting with purified water and glycerin.
None of them are dyes, fragrances, masking fragrances, parabens, formaldehyde, sulfates, betaines, or gluten.
Best Toner: Dickinsons Original Pore Perfecting Witch Hazel Toner
With no added fragrances, dyes, parabens or phthalates, this 100 percent natural toner is perfect for expectant moms whose skin might be more oily or sensitive than usual. It helps refine pores, removes excess oil, soothes irritation and maintains skins natural balance. It also wont dry out or strip skin like many other toners, Engelman says.
Buy it: Dickinsons Original Pore Perfecting Witch Hazel Toner, $4,
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Body Boost Clarifying Daily Face Wash
This pregnancy face wash is made for hormonal skin. You can also wash your chest, back, and neck with it.
Its made in the USA without ingredients that could cause irritation or harm your baby.
To illustrate, it doesnt have parabens, dyes, phthalates, perfume, caffeine, rosemary, clary sage, mineral oil, or harsh sulfates. Its also cruelty-free and vegan.
Instead, it uses lactic acid to remove dead skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Then, it has antioxidants from green tea and cucumber to repair the damage.
And finally, natural astringents from fruit and lavender clear up blemishes and it also includes ingredients like tea-tree oil. We feel this is the best pregnancy-safe face wash for daily use.
If You Have Sensitive Skin:
Step 1: Cleanse with Calm On
Great for any skin type, this mild foaming cleanser gets rid of makeup without drying you out. Plus, with soothing chamomile and calendula it gives you that post-spa refreshed feeling.
Step 2: Moisturize with Daily Calm
This lightweight and non-greasy moisturizer is great for people who need a little moisture and need sensitive skin products, but need it to be delivered in an extra-gentle way. It goes on feeling light and airy and leaves you with a nice glow.
Step 3: Spot Treat with Calm-and-Go Mist
This is one of our all-time favorite products. Its calming, cooling, and skin nourishing. Spritz a few sprays on your face to calm redness and add moisture to dry skin. Vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid work together to soothe skin. Tip: this stuff is great to have around when the baby comes too.
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Biomilk Probiotic Skincare Detox Scrub
Formulated with probiotics, BIOMILKs Probiotics + Bionutrients Face Scrub is designed with nourishing ingredients and without hormone disruptors to feed the delicate biome of the face. We like that this wash contains fine exfoliants that give you a deep, detoxifying clean thats safe to use even if youre pregnant or breastfeeding. Its made with 98% natural ingredients, and as a bonus, its also cruelty-free.
What Is Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a skincare ingredient available in varying concentrations and topical forms from cleansers to toners to spot treatments. It’s primarily used to treat acne, but salicylic acid’s antibacterial, anti-comedogenic , and keratolytic properties make it a favorite for treating other skin concerns as well.
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps to regulate cell turnover and prevents pores from becoming too congested, explains Dendy Engelman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. It penetrates into the pores to dissolve dead skin cell buildup, encouraging the top layer of skin to shed.
Salicylic acid can be used on many skin types, but it is especially popular among those with oily or acne-prone skin. It can be used as a mild chemical exfoliant to remove bacteria and pore-clogging debris from the skin and treat acne, Dr. Engelman says.
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Sun Protection And Sunscreen While Pregnant
Daily broad-spectrum, high-level sun protection is essential for all women, all year round, to protect against damaging and ageing UV rays.Providing very high-level UVA and UVB protection for sensitive skin, Anthelios is La Roche-Posays sun care range, ideal for everyday wear. With invisible formulas , all Anthelios products are dermatologically tested and formulated with hypoallergenic fragrance.
How To Check If Your Skin Care Products Are Safe
First, discuss the safety of your skin care products with your dermatologist and OB/GYN, especially if youre taking prescription medications or are concerned about a pre-existing skin condition.
Next, you can scan your products list of ingredients for any weve reviewed or others that may be concerning to you. A very credible resource for learning more about skin care and personal product ingredient safety is the Environmental Working Group .
Because personal care products arent heavily regulated, the EWG developed a database of over 87,000 personal care products, delivering a safety rating for each. The safety rating is generated by referencing each products ingredients with over 60 toxicity and regulatory databases.
You can reference the EWGs Skin Deep® database online or get the app . In the app, you can quickly scan a products bar code to get its safety rating.
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